Thursday, March 31, 2011

Picture Day

Liza is obsessed with dresses. Wants to wear one every day. She's growing so a lot of the dresses we have for her are getting short. And dresses aren't always cheap so I've been picking them up as I find them for good prices.

She couldn't wait to wear this one so we put a shirt under it. And then I had to give her one of the headbands I made. She's just too cute.

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I need to find more dresses for her!

She wore it for picture day at school. She would have cried if she couldn't wear a dress for that.

Jason on the other hand isn't too picky about clothes. But he is one handsome little fella!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A rant...

Dear smokers,

You stink.

When I pick you up and you put out your cigarette and jump in my car... you stink.

When you smoke and then come in to my house to work on something... you stink. And you stink up my house. And sometimes it's so bad that I start gagging.

If you smoke in your house and then put on some clean clothes... you most likely still stink.

If you smoke outside and then go back inside... you stink.

Smoking stinks.

There is just no way around it. If you are a smoker you most likely stink.

It's not very fun to have to hang out with a stinky person.

The end.

Mr. Yuck

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Apparently March is Poison Awareness month or something like that.

It's what the teachers at Liza and Jason's school told us last week.

And they sent the kids home with tons of Mr. Yuck stickers.

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Liza and Jason told me that they were supposed to put them on things that you shouldn't eat.
And then they went around the house sticking the Mr. Yuck stickers on EVERYTHING.

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They were putting them on shoes, doors, dressers, chairs. EVERYTHING. And they were saying "don't eat that! It wouldn't be good!"

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We managed to redirect them and we have Mr. Yuck stickers on things like the garbage cans and some cleaning products. Where they should be.

But mostly Jason just had fun putting as many on his body as possible. It was nice. We talked about not biting. He needs talkin to about that because he likes to bite Liza.

Funny thing is that they are REALLY sticky and he didn't like them coming off his face haha.

He's cute!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What I love about spring

It's another Girl Talk Hop and today we are sharing our favorite things about spring.

So here is my list...

1. Open windows and fresh air.
2. FLIP FLOPS and bare feet on green grass.
3. The temperatures! Can't WAIT to get outside again.
4. Flowers. Mike always picks me some wild flowers on the way home from work. I love fresh flowers on my table.
5. It no longer gets dark before dinner..

But I think that my most favorite thing about spring is the promise of summer! Bring on the heat and days at the lake! After months of this...

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I'm ready for this...

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Look at all the GREEN! And I love seeing their little arms and legs!

Now if spring would just please hurry up and get here! 17 degrees in the morning is not very spring-like. And it's been such a tease because the sun is shining and there is no snow so it looks like it should be REALLY nice outside... but it's FREEZING. People are confused because it will be 22 degrees and you will see people going to church in short sleeved dresses and flip flops. It is not warm enough to be dressing like that yet. People need to check the temps!

What are your favorite things about spring? Link up at Girl Talk.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When everything falls apart

Happy Sunday!

I love Sundays.

I don't like when Mike has to work on Sundays... even if he is working at the church.

I guess I'll survive. :) He has tomorrow off. And Tuesday. And Wednesday.

Anyways... my good news is that it is 4:30pm and Jason has kept his diaper dry AND clean so far today! Friends, he pooped on the potty all on his own! I mean... we mentioned it... but when  he had to go he went and did it. Progress. Perhaps I can stop buying diapers soon. Lovely!

Ok... enough of that. I just wanted to share a song with you that I absolutely love. It makes me cry sometimes. It's THAT good. The lyrics people. Have a listen.

When Everything Falls Apart by Fee

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another PTR2 update

If you are confused PTR2 is Potty training round 2.

Jason is doing well! Much better than Liza at this point. Easy. Compared to Liza at least.

He will keep his diaper dry all day except for a naptime. Whatever. I can handle that!

Our struggle is poop. He did it once and that was it. He poops sometime during nap time. I think he wakes up and poops before I know he is awake. Ugh. I'm just going to have to start waking him up. It happens every single day.

Today he finally pooped on the toilet right before nap! I was excited! But then I woke him up from his nap and there was more poop. He was sound asleep so either he pooped while sleeping or he pooped before he went to sleep and just slept like that. Ugh.

Not too sure what to do. Any thoughts?

We did have a big milestone recently though. I've only been able to get him to pee at home and on his little training potty. I couldn't get him to even sit on the smaller kid-sized toilets. But while at the gym... I was picking him up from the babysitting room and he said he had to pee. I thought he was messing with me but he wasn't! He peed somewhere other than home! Woo hoo!

We are on the right track. We'll get there soon enough.

Friday, March 25, 2011

He chooses to.

Tiffany over at My Journey in Motherhood has begun having Faith Building Fridays. I like the idea and had something to share today so I figured I might as well link up. :)

I'm reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I am loving it! He is so blunt and I love blunt. He is causing me to think and challenging my ideas of God. I can't count how many times I have read something and just had to stop and sit and think for a while. Too often I find myself saying "Wow. That was deep. And good!" I actually began reading the book to Mike at night while he brushes my hair (I'm spoiled! I love it! He's awesome!)

I'm only in chapter three of the book but I can't wait to find what other challenges are waiting. (I love being challenged. I love growing and changing!)

So... here is a quote for you and I am sure I will have more share in the weeks to come.

God is all-knowing. Isn't this an intimidating thought?

Each of us, to some degree, fools our friends and family about who we really are. But it's impossible to do that with God. He knows each of us deeply and specifically. He knows our thoughts before we think them, our actions before we commit them, whether we are lying down or sitting or walking around. He knows who we are and what we are about. We cannot escape Him, not even if we want to. When I grow weary of trying to be faithful to Him and want a break, it doesn't come as a surprise to God.

For David, God's knowledge led him to worship. He viewed it as wonderful and meaningful. He wrote in Psalm 139 that even in the darkness he couldn't hide from God; that while he was in his mother's womb, God was there.

Hebrews 4:13 says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." It is sobering to realize that this is the same God who is holy and eternal, the Maker of the billions of galaxies and thousands of tree species in the rainforest. This is the God who takes the time to know all the little details about each of us. He does not have to know us so well, but He chooses to.

He does not have to know us so well, but He chooses to.

I don't know about you but that makes me want to shout and dance!!! He CHOOSES to know me... and know me so well! Every single little detail about me. He WANTS to know.

I feel special. :)

Father Daughter Dance

I'm pretty sure this was one of my favorite moments from my sister's wedding! She and my dad danced. It was sweet. But Lisa had a little surprise for him. She's the fifth one of us to get married. Only one left to go. So she decided that after a while of the sweet slow song that the dj would cut in with "Another One Bites the Dust." It was genius!

And the shock and surprise on my dad's face was priceless! You have to understand... Dad don't dance! But he played it off quite well.

I had been warned about the moment so I would be ready with the camera but I'm glad that my sister-in-law Grace was beside me also ready with her camera. She snapped a shot that I was unable to get because my flash hadn't recharged and her pictures fills the photo story perfectly.






See... sweet.

And then the music changed...



(Grace's shot!)



It was definitely an entertaining moment!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Called to the principal's office

Ok... remember my post on Monday about the incident at the gym?

Well it continues on my friends!! And I'm learning the names of the players...

We have Bill (the old man), myself and THE GYM NAZI. (That's what I am calling her now.)

I wasn't able to make it to the gym on Tuesday or Wednesday because I have other morning commitments. But I went back today. I walked in and I signed my name on the clipboard on my machine. (Followed the rules!) I was thinking that Gym Nazi would be so proud of me. :) That's when I noticed she was two machines down and I was so bummed I hadn't noticed sooner because I could have made a bigger show of my rule following... you know taking TWO lines to write my name nice and big instead of just one. Or showing her I actually did in fact write my name. Or thanking her for telling me how the gym works because it will change my life.

But I didn't do any of those things because while I don't mind confrontation I don't like to be one to start an unnecessary fight. :)

I'm doing my workout when Bill comes in. He tells me we've been reported and the higher ups would like it if I stopped in the office. Apparently Gym Nazi said that Bill called her a "fat a--". I don't know Bill all that well but I don't think he would EVER call someone at the gym who was actually working to make changes like that "fat". Never! He'd tell them that they were his hero.

Anyways... the higher ups wanted to hear from me what happened and I figured I better stop by the offices because if I didn't it would look like I had something to hide. I had nothing to hide and I knew I did nothing wrong. And I wanted to make sure that they knew Bill did nothing wrong either and that the person doing the tattling is actually the one who was very much in the wrong.

So I went to the "principals office." I laughed again as I told her what happened and how incredibly ridiculous the whole situation was. She asked what Bill told me about the rules and said he got them right. (I now know the rules! Woo hoo hahaha.) And the lady says "so basically this woman just went ballistic?" haha. I love that she used the word ballistic!

Yep. That's pretty much what happened. I said there was nothing nice about the Gym Nazi at all! And the "principal" said "Well I guess this is just one of those reminders to never let ourselves become like that. Thanks for talking with me. Have a nice day!"

And there ya go... our lovely reminder that no one really likes a Gym Nazi.



I was kind of forced to finalize my decision on preschool recently. (Forced for good reasons... being I needed to be able to decide if I would have the time to commit to something else. And that decision needed to be made.)

I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. I had originally planned to send Liza to a preschool that my friend currently sends her kid too. $75/month for three days a week. Well... they upped the prices and I really didn't want to be paying $100 for preschool... which I KNOW is still cheap! Which I think is kind of crazy.

So. That factored in. And so did Liza and her current abilities.

I asked for thoughts on preschool and pros and cons. No one mentioned anything that I thought would later be a problem for Liza.

And so the decision has been made.

I will not be sending Liza to preschool. She will go straight to kindergarten in the fall of 2012. And no I am not worried that she will be behind or socially unready or whatever.

Liza is very social. We participate in things throughout the week and she is always with other kids and "teachers". The reports are always really good. And I ask a lot and I tell them I want to know the full truth. Word is she is never a problem. She listens well, follows directions, participates in activities and plays with other kids. No problem there.

She also already knows her shapes, colors, numbers and most of her letters. She asks me how to spell words. I tell her the letters and she writes them. That's knowing your letters. She knows about half of their sounds as well.

Taking all that in to consideration I decided that it wasn't necessary for me to spend the money.

Instead I have picked up some workbooks from the bookstore and will continue to build on what Liza already knows. We will use the money saved to go to museums and hopefully even take a small family vacation (first one!) at some point. Either way... I know we will have a ton more fun as a family with the money that would have been spent on preschool.

I know it seems like Liza should be in school. She will be five in September. But she misses the cutoff by 22 days. She will be one of the oldest in her class. And that's ok with me. I like the idea of having her home with me for one more year.

The thing that is weird for me is that it seems like I am the only person in the world not sending her kid to preschool. Someone please tell me I am not alone! Anyone? No one? Didn't think so. I'm alone. And I don't care. I have complete peace about my decision and I know that the kids and I are going to have a blast during those months that Liza would have been in school.

That said... nothing wrong with sending your kid to preschool. I'm just talking about my decision for my baby girl. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BBS: A Heart that Loves

Another week of Blog Bible study. We are doing the book A Woman After God's Own Heart and have I mentioned that I LOVE doing Bible studies with other groups of women!?!? Well. I do! I love it!

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What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
Well this chapter was DEFINITELY easier for me than the last two! I just really loved the encouragement to always make Michael my most important relationship after God and to love him well. I appreciated all of the wisdom that Elizabeth George shared and I am looking forward to continuing with the next chapter as it goes on about the same topic.

Decide to make your husband your Number One human relationship!
Begin to choose your husband over all other human relationships!
Look again at the treatment of these two choices in your book (see the "Yes, But How? section) and evaluate your marriage to see if your priorities and choices are "out of whack". What did you determine?

I often stop to evaluate my time and how I spend it. If I don't I can easily fill up my time with friends and ministry and all kinds of things that take me away from the home and my family. I am currently in a time of re-evaluation and I am making choices of what to keep and what to cut out. My life is going in new directions and that  means I can't hold on to everything that is currently in my life because I would be out of the house (without my husband or kids) too many evenings a week. By knowing what to say yes to and what to say no to I am able to keep a good balance and leave plenty of time for my husband.

NOW... I need to work on making better use of that time that I do have with my husband.

2.) Plan for Your Husband Daily -- Since you are on assignment from God to Love your husband, try these exercises and write down what happens to your heart.....and his!
--Plan a special deed of kindness for your husband each day for a week!
--Plan a special dinner for your husband next week!
--Plan a special date along with your husband this week. (If it doesn't work out with his schedule, that's OK. That will be another opportunity for you to pay attention to his desires and honor him. At least your heart was willing and in the right place -- and that's what this study is all about!)
Ok... I haven't done a special dinner. And I didn't get to do a special date. (We need babysitters!) But I have been a lot more aware of his needs and things that I can do for him throughout the week. It's amazing how when I focus on him and what I can do for Him that  I feel like our marriage is in a much better place. And we connect on levels that I forgot about.

I admit that I am and have been a selfish wife. I get tired on these days at home with the kids and I hate that I often have to say no to things or give up things that I love in order to make time for my husband and family. But I also know it's necessary. I just need to change my attitude about it all and stop being such a little brat. If I can do that I think life would indeed be grand.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oooooh! I'm excited!!!

I was searching around on the internet today looking for a good Bible study and I decided to check out the book Made to Crave. I've heard some good stuff about it and it's on my list of books to read soon. The search for that book led me to the author's website and I decided to click on the link to see her speaking schedule.

And that is when I saw that she was speaking in Grove City, PA! A town about forty minutes away! So I looked for more information. I didn't find what topic she will be speaking on and I've never read any of her books or heard her speak before. BUT...

I've been telling Mike for a few years now that I want to go to a women's conference whether it is with friends or alone. The problem is that the ones I find always seem to be soooo far away and I  just hate a really long drive, quick weekend conference and a really long drive back home. It's exhausting.

I decided that for only $40 (two day conference, lunch included) and only forty minutes away and with Mike being home to watch the kids that I was going. I bought a ticket. (This all took place in about five minutes time!)

So friends... I am soooo super excited to have a ticket to the Heart to Heart Spring Conference where NY Times best selling author Lysa TerKeurst will be speaking. The event is April 1-2 (only ten days away!!!!) and I would love to have some friends come along. If you don't  live near enough feel free to crash at my house. Or I wouldn't mind finding a cheap hotel either.

So excited!

Anyways... like I said... this all started because I was searching for a good Bible study... so I'm wondering, what are some Bible studies you have done in the past and just loved?

Monday, March 21, 2011


This morning has been interesting.

Strange people go to the gym.

And today I had a run in with one of those strange people.

I was getting on a machine when this old man that is nice and talks to everyone came over and told me that he was actually next in line for the machine and had signed his name on the paper for it. I nicely said "oh! I didn't know people actually used those things" and I got off the machine and moved to the next one. The man started nicely explaining the rules of signing up for the machines and all that and I was nicely listening because I guess people actually DO sign up... even though in two and a half years I never ran in to a situation about it and saw very few people "sign in".


This girl that was beside us just couldn't mind her own business.

She started yelling at me and telling me that there are definitely in fact rules and I need to know them. I told her I was actually learning how the sign ins work right now. She wasn't happy with that. I needed to go read the rules over by the desk and follow them because if I listened to this guy I would get the wrong rules because he was telling me wrong and didn't know what he was talking about.

She was not being nice about this at all!

I was laughing.

It was crazy.

Lady: Yeah. There ARE rules and you need to go read them!
Me: Well he's telling me how it works right now. (Smile)
Lady: You need to read them over there because he doesn't know what he's talking about and you will get them wrong!
Man: Will you just mind your own business.
Me: Ok. So how does this work?
Man: When you are waiting for a machine you put your name on the paper...
Lady: That's NOT how it works!
Man: Will you just be quiet!
Lady: (to the man) I'm here trying to get skinny. YOU will NEVER get nice!
Me: (laughing and to the man) I think your nice. Now where were we.

He tries to explain again and she starts yelling AGAIN. Oh  my goooosssshhhh!

The man is talking to me. I am laughing.

Lady: (Pulls here ear pieces out of her ears and says to the man) Did you just call me a name!?
Man: (confused) No. I didn't call her a name did I?
Me: No. He didn't call you a name.
Lady: blah blah blah blah blah You crochety old man!
Man: Would you just shut up!
Lady: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah You need to read the rules and follow them!
Me: (saluted the lady... yeah I really did hahaha)
Man: (to me) Were you talking to her?
Me: No.
Man: I wasn't talking to her either. Hey, we weren't talking to you so just mind your own business.
Me: (LAUGHING) What is going on here!?!!
Lady: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
Me: How about we MOVE?
Man: Good idea!

And then I continued to laugh and laugh and laugh. I could not believe what had just happened! I didn't do anything wrong. I wasn't saying I wouldn't follow the rules. The man was explaining it to me. I didn't fight with him when he told me he had signed up for the machine.

Seriously! This lady was MEAN and just wanted to pick a fight. And it was just too funny to me. Maybe because it was only 8:45 in the morning. I don't know. But I smiled for a good half hour over it.

And it gets better!

Me and the man moved on. We got on our machines and left a little separation between us and the lady. We had probably been on the machines for no more than two minutes when the lady takes her earphones out and hangs them on her machine and walks over to the desk to tell on us! No kidding! She told on us! The staff guy kept looking over at me and the man and I just locked eyes with him and smiled. I didn't do anything wrong.

And then he must have called in a higher up person because another guy came in and they were talking and trying to discreetly point and look at us.

I smiled at them too.

It was all just too ridiculous. I felt like I was about to get called to the principles office.

Adult tattling is repulsive.


I like to take the kids to story time at the library on Fridays. Mr. Peter always has some good books to read to us and a fun craft to do at the end.

Liza and Jason both sit and listen to the stories really well. And it's nice that Mike can come with us in the winter as well. It makes for a fun little family outing. And I have to admit that Mike and I enjoy hearing the stories just as much as the kids seem too.

Mr. Peter always reads two or three books and there is always theme. This last week the books he read were about characters who became friends because they had something in common... they loved doing yo-yo tricks!

After the stories the kids all got to pick a yo-yo out of the box and decorate it with stickers.





I thought it might be a bad idea to give the kids wooden yo-yos but  Liza and Jason have been great with them. They think they are soooo cool. And I've enjoyed playing with the yo-yo again too. :)

Story time takes a break for a few months starting in April. We will all be sad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snowball fight?

Yesterday the kids started gathering up all the socks in the house and they were talking about having a snowball fight. It was cold outside but there was definitely no snow.

I was confused.

They told me the socks were snowballs.

I asked where they learned this and they told me they played it in gym class at school. :)

And so an all out snowball fight happened right in our living room.







Flying socks were everywhere and the sound of laughter made my heart happy.

(Keep it in mind for a rainy day!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo shoot: Rob

While out with the photography club last night I also took some pictures of Rob. Tara was the model of the evening but she likes photography too and since she doesn't have her own camera Rob gave up his and traded spots with her for a short while.

It was a little bit challenging for me because for some reason I find it much more difficult to photograph guys than it is to photograph girls. Anyone else run in to this? Maybe it's just because I've always had girls to shoot and need to work some guys in somewhere to challenge myself a little more. Who knows.

Here are a few pics of Rob...






Photo shoot: Tara

Not too long ago I decided that there needs to be some kind of photography club in our area and so I've been talking with friends and the plan is to hopefully get together every once in a while and use our cameras. We will go to different places in our area, sometimes use people, sometimes just roll with nature. Who knows! I just like to get together with other people that have an interest in photography and share our knowledge and help each grow and be challenged.

Last night we had our first unofficial meeting.

The photographers were myself, Beth and Rob. And I asked our friend Tara to be the model. We just went downtown (because nature is pretty dead and brown around these parts right now) and I showed them different walls that I have found and like.

I got some great pictures of Tara. (At least I think so. :)) And I had a really great time hanging out with other photo lovers.








I couldn't resist the sun flare. :)




Fun times! I've named the "club" B-PHUB. (Short for Butler PHotography clUB.) I'm a dork like that. :) Can't wait to see what we all get to do next. In the plans... for me at least... is to photograph my sister-in-law and a couple of her friends on a "friend" shoot. They will wear their awesome prom dresses for it. And I want to go in to Pittsburgh (but I won't drive in the city so I need a friend for sure!). And there are other places around town that I would like to check out because I think they might be good places for future photo shoots.

I'm really excited about photography this year. I will get to try out a pregnancy shoot and a super newborn shoot. Should be fun! I need someone to get engaged because that is something I would like to add to my list as well.

I've been learning over the winter and I am excited for this beautiful weather so I can get out and shoot something other than my kids.

Get your cameras out and take some pictures!

Growing up

Oh man! Can I just tell you how absolutely awesome it is to get outside for pictures again. The light is just soooooo much easier. And better! We've had temps around 60 the past two days. I got to get some great pics of my Liza and yesterday I did a photoshoot with what I am pretending is the beginning of a little amateur photography club.

Today I will talk about Liza though.

She's beautiful, stunning and full of life.


She's definitely an individual. She loves to dance. She is a princess.


She is an artist. She is funny. Always making me laugh. (Well, when she isn't making me angry anyways!)


I love my little Liza sooooooo much! And she is growing up... I had to stop shopping in the baby/toddler section for clothes. :(


I don't think I was ready for that.

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